13 June 2008

Booking Through Thursday

I'm finally doing Booking Through Thursday


A combo of two suggestions by Heidi and by litlove

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?


I've been part of 3 book groups. Two were with church, and the one I'm in now is mostly made up of members of my church, but it's not a church group. In the first one, the woman who hosted the meeting would choose the next book. There really wasn't an assigned person to lead the discussion, although I was the closest thing to it since I was assigned to be in charge. There were about 5-6 women who would come and we read a variety of books. The next one had the books chosen by the group, with strong influence from the assigned leaders, and the woman in charge would ask someone to lead the discussion (although it was more often a presentation, unfortunately) and someone else to host. My current group is the more traditional method of the hostess choosing the book the month before and leading the discussion. I think all three methods worked, although if you have women who obsess about cleanliness, it may be best for the hostess to not have to lead the discussion too. I also think it's a good idea to plan ahead a few months, or even for the whole year, so more people have a chance to read the books.

Whether or not reading the book as group affects the experience depends entirely on the group. In my first two groups, no, it didn't affect my reading. But it does, very much, in this group. This group though has more dedicated and wide-ranging readers and it is pure joy to discuss books with them. I even take notes sometimes.

I've never read a book for a group that I didn't like, but that's only because I moved the month one group chose that silly Gone with the Wind. I'm still not sure if I would have read it that month. I do not feel obliged to like any book though, and if any book group I was in evolved to just reading say, LDS books or self-help books or best sellers for example, I'd quit.

And for what it's worth, Reading Lolita in Tehran was a spectacular success at our last meeting.

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